Agenda item

Agenda item


To consider a report (enclosed) by the Traffic, Parking and Road Safety Manager on proposed changes to the Council’s car park tariffs policy and associated tariff structures.


10:15 – 11:00


The Lead Member for Highways and the Environment introduced a report (previously circulated) on the proposed changes to the Council’s Car Park Tariffs Policy and associated tariff structures.


The Lead Member highlighted the well documented pressures on the Council’s budget and explained that the proposed increases in parking charges was an avenue to bring monies into the Council.


The purpose of the report was to explain the proposed tariff increases for Council car parks; changes to car park charging periods, and the potential introduction of charges in some car parks that were currently free.

The Head of Planning, Public Protect and Countryside Services reiterated that the proposed changes to car parking tariffs were part of a Corporate decision on savings and were a way of bringing income into the Council. The proposals also including reviewing payment options available in car parks and also a revision of the hours in which the Council would be asking for payment. 

The Council’s car parking tariffs had not been reviewed since 2016 therefore, as a Service it was felt reasonable to review them at this time due to the current financial climate. It was also stated that the proposed car parking tariff changes would be a positive contribution to the Council’s financial situation.


The decision to impose the proposed changes to car parking tariffs would ultimately under delegated powers be the decision on the Head of Service however, it was stated that officers would work closely with Members to gain their thoughts and to engage with the public. Another part of the process would be for officers to work with the Communications Team to develop an Engagement Plan for various groups who would be most affected by the changes.


It was proposed to continue to offer various free parking initiatives. These included free parking after 3pm in all town centre pay and display car parks from late November until the 31 December every year. The small areas of free, short stay parking that were present in some pay and display car parks would also remain. Finally, the Council would continue to provide 5 free parking days each year for every City, Town and Community where pay and display car park facilities were in operation.


A Well-being Impact Assessment (WBIA) was attached to the report for members’ consideration.


The Traffic, Parking and Road Safety Manager (TPRSM) guided Members through the key points of the report as follows –


·       Car park tariffs were previously reviewed in 2016.

·       In considering the tariff increases the Council considered the tariffs charged by other North Wales County Councils and the amount of inflation from 2016 to 2023, including an allowance for `future proofing` ahead of continuing high levels of inflation.

·       Car Park charges currently applied from 8am until 5pm. It was proposed that the Council extend this period, so that charges applied from 8am until 11pm.

·       It was proposed to increase parking permits costs as detailed in appendix D (attached to the report).

·       The proposal included the removal of the 30-minute tariff, Denbighshire County Council were currently the only Council who offered this tariff.


The Chair thanked the officers for their report and questions were invited from members.


Members queried the maintenance of car parks as was agreed at the time of the last review of the tariffs in 2016. Members raised concerns about the general appearance of the car parks in their ward areas.


The Head of Planning, Public Protect and Countryside Services stated that there was an investment plan in place, with a revised investment plan currently being compiled for the 5-year period from 2024 to 2029.  They would be happy to present this to the Committee at a future meeting. There were many examples of where investments in car parks had been made including the installation of payment machines which included paying by card, cash and contactless. There had been a £2 million investment in car parks to date.


Members questioned that the report did not give any details on overnight parking charges and stated that this would be beneficial for motor home owners. The Head of Planning, Public Protection and Countryside Services acknowledged that there was an increase in demand for overnight parking for motor home owners and consideration would be given to this.


Members questioned the frequency of the review of car park tariffs and queried if 7 years was the standard review cycle. The TPRSM stated that at the last review in 2016 the tariffs were increased significantly and therefore it was agreed that the there would not be a review for a number of years following this, as there were costs associated with implementing an increase in charges i.e. the reprogramming of al pay and display machines. However, due to current inflation rates there was a need to review tariffs more frequently.


Members expressed concerns regarding the removal of the 30 minute tariff stating that the public took advantage of this tariff when visiting local high streets. The TPRSM stated that the 30 minute tariff was debated during the proposal process and the removal of the tariff was agreed. There was free short stay parking on all high streets in Denbighshire. It was also stated that data collected indicated that there was not a large proportion of the public who used the 30 minute tariff.


Members referred to the Well-being Impact Assessment and referred to a survey conducted on the effect of parking fees on local businesses on the high street and requested further detail on this. The Head of Planning, Public Protection and Countryside Services stated that they wanted to engage and have conversations with local businesses on the high street to explain to them why the Council was proposing to increase parking tariffs and how best to promote the free parking spaces and initiatives that were in place.


Members questioned if it would be possible, if introducing charging after 5pm, for the tariff from 5pm onwards to be at a lower rate.  It was felt that the introduction of a blanket tariff for day and evening could adversely affect community groups and events etc.  The TPRSM stated that currently there were no plans to decrease the tariffs after 5pm however, this could be considered.


Members queried the electrical car charging ports and questioned who had paid for them. Members continued to question if when an electric car was using the charging ports, if they also had to pay for parking and who received the money from this.  In response the TPRSM informed the Committee that there were currently two projects in place. Firstly, 8 car parks across the county were instated with electrical car charging ports, and these were funded by a grant from the UK Government and Denbighshire capital funding. The daily management of the car parks with charging ports was undertaken by the contracted company. The income generated from the charging ports was split between the contracted company and the Council.  The second project which was mainly in Council office car parks and also included some public car parks was funded by a Welsh Government grant and Denbighshire received the income from these. It was stated that users of the electric charging ports paid for parking and the use of the ports separately.


Members questioned if there would be an increase in the number of parking enforcement officers in line with the increase in the hours parking charges would apply. The TPRSM stated that there would be a need to extend parking enforcement work, the details of how this would be managed were currently being refined.


Members commented on the impact that the free after 3pm parking had on local high streets and queried if there was any data on the impact of it. The Head of Planning, Public Protection and Countryside Services stated that there was no current data available on this however, there had been feedback received from businesses which had been positive.


The Chair thanked officers for their report and members for a comprehensive debate.  At the conclusion of the discussion officers agreed to explore further the following suggestions put forward by members during the discussion:

·       the introduction of discounted/cheaper tariffs for evening parking (i.e. between 5pm and 11pm so as not to disadvantage or discourage people from attending community groups/events)

·       the potential of keeping the free 30 minutes parking or introducing a lower tariff for up to 30 minutes

·       the potential of having free car parking all day on Saturdays on the run up to Christmas rather than the current practice of after 3pm every day

·       to discuss the proposed tariffs for individual car parks with each Member Area Group (MAG) prior to their introduction.


The Chair requested that the draft Denbighshire Car Park Investment Plan be submitted to the Committee before implementation and requested further information on the income and expenditure of car parks be sent to all Committee Members following the meeting.


The TPRSM stated that £1.3 million in income was generated from car parks in Denbighshire to the Council and agreed to circulate an information report to the Committee following the meeting.



At the conclusion of an in-depth discussion the Committee:




(i)             subject to further consideration being given to the issues raised and suggestions made during the discussion, to support the proposed increase to parking tariffs and the other proposed changes detailed in the report; and

(ii)           to request that the draft Denbighshire Car Park Investment Plan 2024-29 be presented to the Committee for consideration in early 2024 prior to approval and adoption.




At this juncture the order of business was varied by the approval of the Chair, with business item 7, ‘Update for Waste Service Remodelling Project’ becoming agenda item 6.

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